First Lady Laura Bush was in Waterloo today (Thursday) to rally Republicans behind Mike Whalen, the GOP’s candidate in Iowa’s first congressional district.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle was there, too, and Mrs. Bush urged Iowa Republicans to go to the polls next Tuesday. “Our candidates are depending on you so be sure to get everyone you know to the polls. Go to the phone banks, knock on those doors and talk to your friends neighbors about Mike Whalen and Jim Nussle and all of Iowa’s great Republican candidates,” Mrs. Bush said. “They need your support and our country needs them.”
President Bush is due in Le Mars late tomorrow to rally with northwest Iowa Republicans. During her speech in northeast Iowa this afternoon, Mrs. Bush gave a sort of preview of her husband’s remarks as she sounded the theme of security that her husband has focused on during the final days of this campaign. “The well-being of young people in Iowa and across our country ultimately depends on our government’s ability to protect them by defeating terrorism and by increasing liberty abroad,” Mrs. Bush said.
About 350 people gathered in a downtown Waterloo convention center to hear Mrs. Bush, Whalen and Nussle speak. “Fellow Republicans, I’ve got one question for you: Are you ready to win?” Nussle asked the crowd. “Well, we are ready to lead and we’ve got work to do in the next few days in order to get the job done.”
Whalen has called on his Democratic opponent, Bruce Braley, to return the $2000 Massachusetts Senator John Kerry contributed to Braley’s campaign. Whalen says the strategy Braley and Kerry are arguing for in Iraq is “dangerously wrong.”
In turn, Braley questions why Whalen did not invite President Bush in to campaign for him. “I think the voters of Iowa’s first district are probably interested in why Mike Whalen feels comfortable campaigning with Laura Bush but not comfortable campaigning with George Bush,” Braley says. “I think that the election that’s coming up on Tuesday is going to be decided on how people perceive the failed foreign and domestic policies of George Bush’s Administration.”